Peptides: Transforming Natural Ligands into Therapeutics, Imaging Agents and Biomaterials
Feb 9, 2024
2:30PM to 3:30PM
Date(s) - 09/02/2024
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Prof. Len Luyt
Depts of Chemistry, Oncology, Medical Imaging, Western University
Senior Scientist, Verspeeten Family Cancer Centre
Peptides are becoming increasingly important targeting molecules for the discovery of cancer drugs, imaging agents and theranostics. Peptide hormones that bind to G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are starting points in this development pathway and modifications are required for a natural peptide to become useful as a pharmaceutical product. In this seminar, we will explore the path taken for developing peptide drugs, such as the diabetes drug semaglutide, peptide imaging agents for cancer and peptide biomaterials. One focus of our research is the peptide ghrelin, which is the endogenous ligand for the growth-hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR), also referred to as the ghrelin receptor. While the primary role of ghrelin relates to appetite regulation, there is increasing evidence for the cancer associated implications of the presence of the GHSR. We have discovered a variety of fluorine-containing and metal-complexed ghrelin analogues for the purpose of molecular imaging of the GHSR. Cyclic peptides as biomaterials for imaging will also be presented. Through discussing the multifaceted potential of peptides for the development of drugs, imaging agents and biomaterials, this seminar sheds light on the promising future of peptide-based pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Len Luyt received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Western University and subsequently undertook a post-doctoral fellowship with Prof. John Katzenellenbogen at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He then led a research team as a Senior Medicinal Chemist with the pharmaceutical company Bayer-Schering. Dr. Luyt joined Western University in 2005 as a faculty member with appointments in the Departments of Chemistry, Oncology and Medical Imaging, and was promoted to full Professor in 2020. He has published 78 journal articles, 5 book chapters and has 10 patents granted or applied for. He has received peer-reviewed grant funding from NSERC, CIHR, OICR, Prostate Cancer Canada, Cancer Research Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The research program of Dr. Luyt spans from basic chemistry activities, looking at novel methods of incorporating metal complexes into peptide structures, through to applied research, investigating new peptide therapeutics and molecular imaging agents for novel cancer targets.
In-Person: ABB 102
Meeting ID: 926 6599 4940